wood rat


: any of numerous soft-furred cricetid rodents (especially genus Neotoma) of North and Central America that have well-furred tails, large ears, and a characteristic tendency to hoard food and debris on or near their dens

called also pack rat

Examples of wood rat in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The new study says nothing about possible reservoirs, but parasitologists have long known that leishmania parasites exist in Southern Plains wood rats, says Molyneux, who was not involved in the study. Simon Makin, Scientific American, 19 Oct. 2023 Pack rats, also known as wood rats, are notorious for collecting an odd assortment of items from their surroundings to make their nests, called middens. Sadie Witkowski, Smithsonian, 15 Nov. 2019 And many of the reporters who held the job later considered her the best, churning out stories on everything from backdoor political deals to disappearing wood rats. Jenny Staletovich and Glenn Garvin, miamiherald, 3 Sep. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wood rat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1763, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of wood rat was in 1763

Dictionary Entries Near wood rat

Cite this Entry

“Wood rat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wood%20rat. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

wood rat

: any of numerous soft-furred rodents of North and Central America that have furry tails, large ears, and a tendency to hoard food and debris compare pack rat
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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